16 December, 2015

Press Release: Consistent Data Protection Standards - EU telcos put the spotlight on next steps

ETNO note on the agreement on a General Data Protection Regulation

Last night, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council came to an agreement on a new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

At times in which value-chains are global and digital, it is crucial to ensure consistent consumer standards and a level regulatory playing-field across industries.

For this reason, ETNO – the Association representing Europe’s leading telecom operators – believes that this agreement is an important step towards horizontal rules applicable across the digital value chain.

However, several critical aspects remain. In particular, electronic communication services are currently still subject to double regulation. We have missed the opportunity to repeal the ePrivacy Directive and include the relevant principles in the GDPR. Europe needs to address this regulatory asymmetry without delay. This can support innovation and growth in its convergent digital markets. For this reason, ETNO urges a swift review of the ePrivacy Directive, aimed at ensuring that consumers enjoy consistent rules, irrespective of the provider of the service.

Steven Tas, ETNO Chairman, commented: “Consistent rules across industries are key in the digital age. We need to eliminate regulatory asymmetries, so that telcos can contribute to boosting Europe's digital innovation”.

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